Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Today’s text

Luke 13:1-3

It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, 'Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than any others, that this should have happened to them? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.'


You don’t single out the worst of us for special treatment, my Lord. You don’t look upon our deeds and imagine that they require special handling by you.

You are not as shortsighted as we. Your purpose is eternal, and you seek it in every circumstance. You incorporate our free acts into your intentions, working in them, through them and in spite of them.

You waste nothing but are undeterred from the union of all things in love that is your goal. May your will be done; may that kingdom come.

So many fearful minds imagine their pain and misfortune is punishment from you. Bad things happen, and their consciences accuse them. They imagine that you have singled them out for some grave sin or rebellion. Often, it is the very good and overly sensitive who are so unnecessarily troubled.

Others operate by the “just world” theory. They think the world is or should be carefully ordered, and that if something bad happens to you it is right because you must have done … something. Earthquakes shake Haiti and Chile and hurricanes strike New Orleans because folk there are obviously bigger sinners than the rest of us.

It’s neat theory, though also crazy … and brutal, especially to those who suffer hunger and great deprivation. Obviously, it’s their fault or that of their ancestors.

No, you don’t single out certain sinners for special treatment, making an example of them for the rest of us. What kind of god would do this? Certainly not one deserving our praise, our service, our love.

Still, you call us to repent.

Perhaps what we most need to repent of … is every idea in our head that imagines that you are something less than love. Perhaps what we most need to change is the idea that you, Loving Mystery, are like us.

Pr. David L. Miller